A State of Mind follows two young North Korean gymnasts and their families for over eight months in the preparations for the Mass Games, a choreographed celebration of patriotism and the socialist ideal involving literally thousands of dancers, gymnasts, athletes, and musicians.
The film provides a rare glimpse into one of the world’s least known societies. North Korea is sealed off from outside influences. It borders China and Russia to the north, and to the south, there is a 4km wide impenetrable border with South Korea.
The country follows its own communist ideals, a strict philosophy known as the Juche Idea wrapped around the worship of the Kim dynasty – Kim Il Sung, their Eternal President who died in 1994 but remains Head of State, and his son and successor, Kim Jong Il, known as the General.
The crew began filming in February 2003 and had unique access to the families’ day-to-day life, and have created a remarkable insight into a part of North Korean society never before seen by Western eyes.